When it is whale watching season in Mossel Bay, a drive to The Point followed by a short stroll up to the Cape St. Blaize Cave viewing platform can quite often result in some good shore-based whale watching moments. (I known, because we’ve seen some great ones from there in the past. That said though, the adjacent parking lot down below is pretty good for lazy whale spotting as well!).
However, if it is not quite whale watching season then what you are left with is an important, and coincidentally one of South Africa’s oldest, archaeological excavations instead. (Well, technically, you also have the cool Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse above your head, so there’s that too).
First excavated in 1888 by George Leith, the Cape St. Blaize Cave has revealed deposits dating back some 200,000 years, giving us a glimpse into the possible life lead by the native San people that inhabited this area at the time.
Excavations over the years have revealed evidence showing the use of dyes in symbolizing, advanced blades, the use of heat treatment in manufacturing tools, and thanks to the unearthed middens, the systemic exploitation of marine resources such as shellfish.
Now home to nesting birds, a large colony of dassies, and the odd wandering tourist, as you might imagine, the cave has quite a strong stench lingering about it – meaning that standing around for too long isn’t really an option, or at least that’s what Jessica indicated to me when we took her there back in March this year!
The cave doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to walk around and take in all the signposted information, though there is now a big board erected in the parking lot that indicates the coming of a future educational Point Discovery Centre.
Worth noting: The cave also serves as the starting point of the Cape St. Blaize hiking trail, which allows you to walk from The Point in Mossel Bay, past Pinnacle Point, and then all the way through to Dana Bay (perhaps better known as Danabaai).